Mitch Baker (Roger Griffiths) is devastated in EastEnders to discover that daughter Chantelle Atkins (Jessica Plummer) has died.
Chantelle had joined Mitch and Karen (Lorraine Stanley) on a little family holiday, but Gray (Toby-Alexander Smith) soon insisted that she and he both return home.
Tragic scenes ensue in Friday’s episode (September 18), as — once they’re back in No. 1 Albert Square — Chantelle is murdered by Gray.
Speaking about how Mitch reacts to the news that Chantelle has died, actor Roger Griffiths said: ‘Oh he does not believe it. He’s devastated. The worst thing is losing his child but then the layers of how he lost that child and why he lost that child.
‘And when that becomes hazy, there’s an inner rage and an unrest that happens. It doesn’t matter if it’s years after, he is still going to be in that no-man’s land, where he is wondering what happened.
‘It’s the unknown. And he won’t rest, his spirit won’t rest until something makes sense. Because no-ones coming forward with any sense. It’s just nonsense.’
‘He’s just in shock. He’s in disbelief and in denial because he can’t believe that she’s dead. The first thing that he asks is how did it happen?
‘And when he asks that question more than three times and nobody’s answering in any clear way, that’s when it starts to bite at him. Then he hears the whispers.
‘Mitch has had a run in with Gray before, and he’s not going to charge in this time like a bull in a china shop. Because he’s in turmoil in his relationship with Karen as well, he’s trying to mend that. He’s trying to balance so many things.
EastEnders domestic violence – get support
Two thirds of women who were experiencing abuse from their partner/ex-partner in June told a Women’s Aid study that their abuser had started using lockdown restrictions or the Covid-19 virus and its consequences as part of the abuse. (66.7% of those answering question – Women’s Aid Survivor Survey, June 2020).
At the height of lockdown over three quarters of women living with an abuser said they felt they could not leave or get away because of the pandemic. (78.6% of those answering question – Women’s Aid Survivor Survey, April 2020).
You can get support and information from Women’s Aid by visiting the website or contacting the free instant messaging service.
You can get support and information from Refuge – which holds a comprehensive and detailed guide to seeking help on the website.
‘If he messes up one, he’ll loose the other. If he goes too hard on Gray with the accusations, the balance with Karen will flip.’
In the wake of Chantelle’s death, Kheerat Panesar (Jaz Deol) — who attempted to help her escape prior to her death — speaks to Mitch, and suggests that perhaps Gray found about about how he’d been speaking to Chantelle during lockdown, and therefore perhaps an argument ensued, and she was fatally wounded.
Regarding the confrontation between Kheerat and Mitch, Roger said: ‘Firstly he wants to know – who is this man? He’s telling Mitch that his daughter was unfaithful to her husband? That’s the first shock. And then he thinks – why is he telling me this, is he covering up himself?
‘Is he trying to protect himself? It’s big news. He’s saying that Gray killed Chantelle. And Mitch doesn’t like Gray. So when he hears that he has to be very careful and manage his emotions because he’s made mistakes before, he’s accused Gray of certain things and Gray has covered it up so Mitch ends up looking completely out of order.
‘But this is a big one and he doesn’t want that to happen again. He’s got to be sure. If he takes the law into his own hands he could end up in prison himself, so he’s not going to do that, he wants to make sure that if he’s going to present anything it’s going to be right.’
EastEnders continues Friday September 18 at 8:30pm on BBC One.
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